Saturday, November 20, 2010

Christmas Competition

First things first, I do not consider myself to be a very competitive person. In fact, I'm the least competitive person I know (ha ha, yea, it's a stretch for a joke). Anyways, I am VERY competitive with myself, which sounds strange, but since I started on this savings journey 1 year ago, it has almost become a kind of game that I play with myself. Me and my wallet VS. the stores. Well, this year, I decided that I was crazy. Read on and you'll see why. I decided that I wanted to set a budget for Christmas this year of $100. Not per person, for everyone. Let me go on... we generally buy gifts for about 25 people (including my husband, myself, son & dog). And we have never really had a budget for Christmas spending. Strange right?? Even last year, I just set a goal to save and use coupons, but I never paid much attention to how much we were spending as a grand total. Well this year I decided (after setting that ridiculous $100 goal), to count it up and see how much we were spending. I calculated it based on how much we would spend in our "cutting back" minds and it ended up being over $700. For someone that cringes when she spends more than $25 at the grocery store, this is HUGE! Now, obviously the $100 budget is ridiculous. When I first told my husband, I believe he laughed, then said, "If you could do that it would be awesome."

Now, let me go on to say that I realize that a $100 budget for 25 people would equal out to $4 per person. Clearly, that is insane. And no, I am not shoplifting. What I am doing is using things like mypoints, swagbucks and more to get gift cards and getting gifts for free. Now I realize that if you are new to couponing, or even new to some of these "reward earning" sites, it is probably too late for this year, but in the next few weeks I will be sharing with you how I was able to save up enough points from various websites to get gift cards to cover most of our Christmas shopping. (And let me say that I am not one of those people that sits on a computer 24/7 - the way I have earned points through each of these sites is easy and something that anyone could do).

Ok, enough of my rambling. I cannot say much more about the gifts I have bought for Christmas or the amount spent yet, since the recipients haven't received them yet and might read this site and I don't want to give anything away. But I will say that the gifts I have gotten so far are valued at way more than $4 per person ;).

If you've kept reading til now I applaud you. I guess my "not blogging for 6 months" equals one insanely long blog post! Ok, so on to the good stuff.

Are you looking for cut back on your Christmas spending? Um, I would guess that MOST people nowadays would say yes. If you are, here is a way I'm going to help you with that. As I said before, after Christmas has come and gone I will give you all the details of some sites I have used over the past year to help earn gift cards to help pay for gifts this year. But since there's not THAT much time left til Christmas (I won't dare give a countdown), I do have 2 sites that can help you make a slight dent.

Ok, the little one is fussing so this will be fast and furious.

1. - sign up through here and first, you will help me out, and second you can then send the link along to your friends or post on your facebook wall. Once 15 of your friends sign up through your referral link, you will get a $25 Amazon gift card. By the way, this site is FULL of great Christmas ideas!!! Even if you decide not to sign up, I would definitely bookmark it for future reference!

2. - sign up through here and again, you will help me out :), and then you can again invite your friends to join. Once 10 friends sign up through your referral link, you will get a $10 gift card (and you can choose from a list of different gift cards). This is a daily shopping site, and they do send quite a few e-mails, so I would recommend giving them your special "couponing" e-mail.

Now, the best thing about these 2 sites, is that you do not have to buy ANYTHING, you do not have to give any credit card info, nothing! All you do is get your friends to sign up and you get rewarded. Just from doing the 2 sites above, you have the potential to get $35 in gift cards towards Amazon.

Note: this is not my pathetic cry for people to sign up through my link. Obviously, I would like it very much and it would help towards my Christmas goal, but if you choose to sign up through someone elses that is fine too. I just wanted to share these to help put a dent in your Christmas spending as I try to do so for myself as well.

Ok, this post is probably long enough. If I hear of any new gift card deals like the above soon, I will be sure to post. Til next time... :)¤t=signature.png

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

Ok, so I don't know where Carmen is and I also don't know where I have been. Well, I guess I do, I have been consumed in the world of toddlerhood. Hard to find a minute to sit down, much less get on the computer and write on my blog. Has it seriously been 6 months? It's pathetic and I do apologize. But, I'm attempting to make up for it. And I'm really hoping that soon I can figure out where in the world my background went?????¤t=signature.png

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Google Reader

So after gaining some attention to my blog after my recent video contest win , I feel like I need to pony on up and get back into the blogging scene. I took a little break there to try and earn a little cash with my Every Party has a Pooper idea (which I'm thinking of branching out and making some Depends creations for retirement/over the hill parties - eh??). But, I'm back and here to share a quick tip. My friend, Jennifer introduced me to the world of Google Reader a while back and my world has never been the same since! If you haven't heard of google reader and are a money-saving-blog-reader like myself, then you have got to check this out! Go on over here to check it out. You can sign in with your google account if you have one, or you can sign up for a google account for free (perhaps to use when you sign up for coupons and newsletters!!). Then, you just add the blogs you want to follow and it puts them all in one nice neat area to browse through instead of going to each and every blog. I love this because I get on my iPod touch when I'm nursing my son, and I can just flip through really fast to see the different deals I want to pursue. Definitely makes the deal-hunting way easier. In fact, I'm really looking forward to the day that I have saved up enough swagbucks to get my iPhone so I can even check the deals when I'm out and about. Yea - don't laugh at me, you have to be on top of things to get the really good deals!
Ok, so while you are setting up your google reader, here's a list of some great websites to add to your reading list: - duh! - seriously gives SO much information on the different deals out there! - if you want to learn how to totally work the Randalls system! - another good one that covers everything from freebies to Target deals! - yet another good one for grocery deals and freebies!

Ok, so there's a few to get you started. Don't take on TOO many blogs to follow, or you will find yourself reading through TONS of repeats. Best to stick with a few really good ones and trust that they will give you all the info you need to know!

I like clean butts and I cannot lie!

Ok, so I know that at times my Frugalicious blog seem to be more babylicious than anything else, but I want to give a quick shout out to the Randalls mom-to-mom brand of wipes. If you have ever given your baby blueberries, then surely you can appreciate a good blueberry diaper/butt. And if you haven't, well let's just say that they can easily stain a fair-skinned baby's bum like my son! Now, to be honest, my favorite wipes all around are Huggies. If I had my way I would always use Pampers diapers and Huggies wipes. But, I am frugal, so I will use whatever I can get for cheap/free. I received some mom-to-mom wipes as a gift, so I decided to go ahead and give them a try. I seriously don't think Pampers wipes stand a chance against a BBP (blueberry poo). Maybe their thick wipes, but even still, I'm not sure how they would hold up. Huggies would probably do slightly better, but the thing that gives the Mom-to-Mom wipes a HUGE advantage is that their wipes are textured. I'm not just talking little bumps, these are some serious microscrubbers! (That face wash commercial just came to mind.) They are exactly what you need to grab hold and give a good scrub - without having to scrub your baby's bottom raw. So, by all means if you can get Pampers or Huggies wipes for free - DO IT! But when you are in a pinch or with a baby with a purple rear - head to Randalls and get you some Mom-to-Mom wipes!

Homemade Baby Food

Need some more motivation to make your own baby food? Last week I purchased over 30lbs of food to make into baby food (should have checked my freezer space first because it is really tight, but I'm planning on cooking a 10lb turkey I've been saving in there, so that should free up some more space!). Anyways, just to give you an idea - I've already priced out the sweet potatoes to see how much it costs per ounce and I was shocked! I bought the sweet potatoes for $0.99/lb (normally I wait til they are more like $0.59/lb, but I wanted to grab just a few to have since I was having a cooking marathon!) - and when all was said and done, I made sweet potato baby food for $0.04 per ounce!!! A can of baby food sweet potatoes at the store costs around $0.50 for 2.5 oz - so by making it yourself you can make it for one FIFTH of what it costs to buy it!!! I'm still in the process of portioning and freezing, so I'll let you know the other deals once I find out how many ounces I've made!

**By the way, a VERY smart friend of mine, Christina, told me when she made her food, she just put it in ziploc bags so she wasn't waiting around on the ice-cube trays to freeze, empty, wash and dry - then she just snipped a corner of the ziploc bag and basically piped the food out into the ice-cube trays when ready. It is SOOOO much easier and probably the only way I will do this from now on. And my husband mentioned that he thought it looked fun =)

Mother's Day

So, I've been thinking of something for a while now, but today seems like a good day to talk about it with it being Mother's Day and all. Here it is: You don't truly appreciate your mom until you are one. I love my mom dearly, but I don't think I 100% appreciated her and all she's done for me until I became a mom myself. So here's to the moms!

Here's to the moms that hear something on tv about nipple clamps and all they can think of is nursing their teething baby; the moms that drink a beer, not for the social drinking aspect of it all, but rather to increase their milk supply for their baby; and the moms that buy brown shoes to accessorize with their poo-stained clothes. It's the hardest job in the world that you don't understand til you are in it, but it is also the best job in the world! So, Happy Mother's Day to all the moms! Enjoy yourself (and maybe have a beer - for your baby's sake of course!)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Every Party has a Pooper Review

Check out Melissa's review of Every Party has a Pooper!

Click here to check it out!